Keeping healthy in winter

Staying healthy, especially during the winter is one of the things I actively work on. I believe one of the reasons so many more get sick during the cold months is because we tend to stay indoors more and have less fresh air coming in because it’s too cold to raise windows. We cram ourselves inside the house, inside stores and are around more people. The more people you are around, the more likely you are to be exposed to someone who is sick. I am not exposed to very many people as a rule, just because of the way I live in a low population area. The main exposure I have is going to church and being a caretaker for a friend, it means I sometimes have to take her to doctor appointments, I do my best not to go into the doctor offices, clinics or hospitals, but sometimes I have to. So I work hard to keep my exposure to a minimum and to keep my immune system in tip top shape.

Besides keeping my exposures to other people at a minimum, I wash my hands often and try try try to remember not to touch my face, that’s how many bacteria and viruses get into our bodies is through touching contaminated surfaces then touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth. Another thing I do to try to do is when I have to sneeze or cough, I try to cough or sneeze into the inner lapel of my coat or the inside of my elbow, that keeps any contaminates from my hands and keeps it out of the air, that’s a courtesy for everyone else around me.

I don’t use those antibacterial soaps or hand sanitizers, besides the drying action of these (dry hands mean chapped or cracked hands which creates openings for the germs and viruses to get in), they are known to encourage super bugs to proliferate, you are killing the weak germs and allowing the stronger ones to survive, besides it is proven that just using plain soap and water will kill germs.

Be aware of what your hands are coming in contact with, things that other people are touching often are where you will find germs, bacteria and viruses. Door knobs & handles, keyboards, hand rails, elevator buttons, the counters at desks where people gather (the check in desk at a hotel or motel for example), public phones, pens (especially at dr offices), and my personal favorite germy spot, the grocery cart handle. You can’t avoid touching all of these places, so be extra careful NOT to touch your face when you are around these places and wash your hands before eating when you are out or have been out.

Break rooms at work are also germy places, the remote control, the refrigerator door handle, the snack/soda machine buttons, the tables that rarely get washed… I tend to forget about work places because I don’t work in an office or store any more, but many of you do, so be just as vigilant at work as you are in any other public place.

One of the places that I absolutely HATE being in is a doctor’s office waiting room, I’m not in them often, but sometimes my job as a caretaker means I have to go in them on occasion, besides not touching ANYTHING, including the magazines that have been sitting there being touched by sick people for days and weeks (and they LICK their fingers to turn the pages…), I see kids toys being played with, what do kids do? They put everything in their mouths, they spit, slobber and snot on everything, if I had a kid and I had to take them to the dr office, I would NOT allow them to play with any of the toys there…

With that being said, that doesn’t mean you should try to be as bacteria free as possible, you need to exercise your immune system by exposing yourself to some germs, I grew up playing outside, playing in the mud, getting dirty, we washed our hands before eating but my parents didn’t go out of their way to keep us super clean, as long as we were clean for school and church, the rest of the time was devoted to playing and not worrying too much about how dirty we got. I fear that today’s generation is far too worried about germs, to the point that we are weakening our immune systems so that when we are exposed to something more deadly, our bodies aren’t prepared to fight off the offending germs and viruses.

I do take supplements to help keep my immune system up to par, vitamin C, zinc, vit D3, tumeric/curcumin extract, cinnamon and chromium, acidophilus, ginkgo biloba, my new favorite supplements right now are cayenne pepper capsules and Maca. The cayenne is for inflammation and the maca is just a superfood, it is said to be balance hormones, something I am very interested in at my age (pre-menupausal).

I am also eating healthier, I’m not a total health nut by any means, but I have been working on getting my diet healthier one step at a time. The main thing I’m working on right now is eliminating as many GMO foods from my diet as possible, I know that eating just about any processed food from the grocery store means I’m probably eating GMOs, but I am trying to eliminate the worst offenders, at the very least I’m replacing things like corn chips, corn is one of the biggest GMO foods and corn products are in many food items. I have stopped buying my favorite corn chips and started buying only organic corn chips, I’m also cutting out many other junk foods as they contain not only GMO ingredients, the other ingredients are nothing but garbage.

It’s too overwhelming for most of us to make huge changes to our diets, but making one or two changes at a time, especially if you can replace them with healthier choices makes it easier and doable, once you are used to one change, then start on another.

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